The past month has featured many sleepless nights and a schedule that involved Brayden being WIDE AWAKE beginning around 2am until somewhere between 5 and 7am. He’d eat a few times during that period, but he just couldn’t go to sleep. We tried everything we could think of. We rocked him while the hair dryer was on (this actually worked a couple times). We sang to him. We danced around. The longer he was awake, the worse things became. He’d cry longer and louder and we would get more and more frustrated.
We Googled tips for how to get a baby to sleep or just stop crying. We read everything we could find. We really felt like we were going insane due to the lack of sleep and all-night crying. I am definitely not a supporter of the “cry it out” method and I want to soothe my baby as soon as I hear even the slightest hint of a cry. It was incredibly frustrating to not be able to help the little guy. I felt like such a failure as a mom.
During this time, my mom had the flu so she couldn’t come over and help me figure this all out for about a week. When she got better, we headed over to my parents’ house for some much-needed tips and rest.
This was the best move we’ve made by far. Brayden is now sleeping normal hours at night (with feedings every 3-4 hours). As most newborn moms will tell you, 4 hours of sleep is both rare and wonderful.
My husband and I are getting much more sleep, the crying is few and far between, and we know how to soothe Brayden almost immediately when he does start crying. Brayden seems happier and more calm now, and he seems to be putting on weight much faster now.
Here are some of the tips we got from my parents that have literally changed our lives from night to day:
- Burp Brayden longer. Feel his tummy and if it feels tight, he probably needs to burp.
- Rock Brayden the same way Monica does in the Friends episode after Rachel has her baby (note: rock the way Monica does, not the way Rachel does).
- Keep the lights off at night and on during the day. So simple, but we had been keeping lights on at night so Chad and I wouldn’t fall asleep.
- At feeding time at night, I’ll feed him for awhile and he’ll usually need a diaper change at some point; so rather than wait until he’s done eating, I’ll take a break and we change him before I finish feeding. Basically, we make sure he feeds again after he’s changed so he relaxes and goes back to sleep.
These may seem obvious to other moms, but we don’t have much experience with newborns, this was brand new information to us. If you have any other bits of advice, please feel free to share it!